a “triple mutant” variant discovered in India

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In India, the Covid-19 epidemic is out of control. After the discovery of a “double mutant” variant, a new strain has just appeared. This time it is a question of a “triple mutant” variant.

What is a “triple mutant” variant?

The SARS-CoV-2 mutations occur when the contamination rate is high. After the English, South African and Brazilian variants, several variants are talking about them in India, as explained The independent in an article of April 22, 2021. Let us recall that India is the second country most affected by this pandemic, with more than fifteen million cases for almost 185,000 deaths.

Currently, the country is facing a second wave caused by a particular variant. This is B.1.617, a variant called a “double mutant” which is moreover more contagious. Rather anxiety-provoking, this term is nevertheless very easy to explain. This is the result of the union of two different strains SARS-CoV-2, namely E484Q and L452R.

However, during this same second wave, another variant appeared and this last would be “triple mutant”. This time, three strains coronavirus came together to form a new variant for the moment still relatively unknown to researchers spotted in the states of Delhi, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

Credit: Arindam Ghosh / iStock

A situation out of control

On April 21, the local channel NDTV gave the floor to Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology at McGill University (Canada). According to him, this triple mutant variant would be more transmissible. However, nothing is certain. Of studies currently in progress should provide more details in the coming days. The point is, India is completely overwhelmed by the epidemic, due to another very intense outbreak. The country broke a new world record for contamination in a single day with 310,000 new cases. Between April 17 and 21, that figure rose to one million!

Large Indian cities represent the main sources of contamination. New Delhi is in the lead and its health system is severely damaged. The oxygen shortage especially occurring in the capital is compounded by the lack of drugs across the country. Today the eyes of the world are on India. It must be said that the “double mutant” variant has already been detected in several countries such as Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom or Singapore. In this context, the very recent appearance of the “triple mutant” variant is therefore frankly not good news.

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